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The eBike Myth

Riding an eBike is the equivalent of receiving a 14.16% pay rise

I love three things: saving time, convenience, and spreadsheets. I think it takes a special kind to person to have a love of spreadsheets and numbers as I do, but it gives me an opportunity to verify my wild theories. You can thank me later.

I know the above claim of 14.16% pay rise might sound like a marketing ploy, but it’s really more than that, and I’m more than happy to use my spreadsheet to show you.

Kalkhoff Bike

Firstly, eBikes are the biggest market of bike in Europe, and it makes absolute sense. If you haven’t ridden one, take up an opportunity by your local bike store to try it out. I have a dare that I use with people who are about to test their first ever eBike: Get off without a smile. I’ve never lost this dare. These bikes aren’t motorbikes. They’re not scooters. They don’t need fuel. And, they don’t have the combustion engine acceleration we know from our car. They have electric power acceleration! 1 kilojoule down equals 3 forward.  They get to their maximum torque immediately. This doesn’t need to be explained any more, other than to say they accelerate FAST! They’re pedal-assist, so you still get the feeling and freedom of riding a bike, and  have all the physical fitness advantages cycling gives, if you choose, but also, if you are riding to work, not wanting to get hot and sweaty, that’s also very much a possibility. Which is what the Euros have found.

As you can see in my beloved spreadsheet, I have calculated the costs associated to owning a car of equal value to a brand new eBike (such that a car of that value would be… Acronym P.O.S. comes to mind!). I have also included the costs of using public transport every day as your commuting option. I’m going to say right here, that although the bus or train is the cheaper option, it does not (in my case) depart and arrive at the doors of home and work. Also, for me, the price of not being squished in next to a smelly arm-pitted, obese member of the western world is invaluable. So public transport is off the list…

Comparison Costs between ebike, car and public transport

Which leaves driving and riding. As a cyclist, I might be a minority, but I love driving. I love changing gears, feeling the rev an engine, finding an apex, navigating traffic. I am a driver. It’s why I race motorsport. Commuting to work on roads that are carparks every morning and night isn’t the driving I like doing. It’s expensive, too.

So the pay-rise, I hear you say. The average income earner in Australia earns $75,000 per year (before tax). The difference between the cost of driving the car every day to work, and riding an eBike is $10,620 per year. This is 14.16% additional cash that you can use to your heart’s desire. This is like your boss giving you a pay rise to $85,620.

But riding to work, you get sweaty, so you need the hassle of having spare clothes and a shower. Nope. It’s an eBike. You let the motor do the work. You get less stinky doing this than you do walking to get your Vietnamese roll for lunch. Trust me. I know.

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